To mark International Day of People with Disabilities (IDPWD) on Tuesday 3 December, the BBC and ITV have announced that they will be hosting an event focused on disability and the media, bringing together contributors from all the major UK broadcasters for the first time.

BBC, ITV, Channel 4, Channel 5, Viacom and Sky will come together to share experiences, challenges, and best practice, as all five broadcasters continue to progress towards Doubling Disability by 2020, an initiative led by the Creative Diversity Network (CDN).

BBC Salford will host the morning sessions and ITV London will host the afternoon sessions, which will be open to staff from all the broadcasters and a wider audience. The aim of each of the one-hour sessions that will take place on International Day of People with Disabilities is to improve knowledge and confidence around disability, on and off screen; to empower staff to challenge and implement positive changes; and to build awareness of common barriers to development opportunities within the organisations and how to overcome them. The sessions will be streamed across both venues.

Sessions will include actor Ross Grant speaking to BBC Ouch, ITV SignPost and ITV News about the role of writers and those behind the camera; trainees from Sky and Channel 4 discussing their work on Riveria, the Paralympics and Delicious; plus Samantha Renke sharing her journey from teacher to actress.

There will also be a panel discussion on how to remove barriers and improve representation featuring Hollyoaks and ITV talent, which will be chaired by Deborah Williams, Executive Director of the Creative Diversity Network.

The day follows the successful event, A Visible Me, hosted by the BBC and ITV on IDPWD 2018, which opened up the conversation about hidden disabilities. It brought together diverse on-screen talent with off-screen managers, co-workers and networks to discuss some of the challenges and under-representation that is still evident behind the camera. This year’s event will build on those conversations and the work being done as part of the commitment to double disability across the industry.

Clare Sumner, BBC’s Director of Policy and BBC’s Executive Sponsor of Culture and Career Progression for disabled colleagues said: “The BBC wants to celebrate International Day of People with Disabilities. I am delighted that we are co-hosting an event with ITV to drive our ambition to be more inclusive and ground-breaking in our approach. It’s a great opportunity to bring more talented disabled people in to our industry.”

Mark Smith, ITV Group CTO and ITV Able Sponsor: “As the sponsor of our newly launched ITV Able network, I am delighted that ITV are once again partnering with the BBC, and this year also with the other main broadcasters, to host this event in celebration of International Day of People with Disabilities. This is a fantastic opportunity for collaboration across the broadcasters and demonstrates the on-going commitment and passion we all share to build an inclusive and representative industry where everyone can thrive.”


Tickets are available for the following sessions (content subject to change):

International Day of People with Disabilities – Disability Focus, Tuesday 3 December (morning sessions)

BBC Quay House, Media City Salford (09.45 arrival for 10.00-13.00)

  • BBC Project Cape

BBC to talk about supporting neurodiversity with Project Cape with Q&A lead by Actor Ross Grant

  • Behind the Camera: The role of writers and designing content

Actor Ross Grant to chair a discussion with BBC Ouch, Writers Room, ITV SignPost, and ITV News

  • On-Screen Talent: Understanding & Removing Barriers and improving representation

Panel and Q&A featuring Hollyoaks and ITV talent, chaired by Deborah Williams, Executive Director at Creative Diversity Network.

Tickets to attend the live session in Salford, includes option of watching live stream of the London sessions in the afternoon: https://www.skiddle.com/whats-on/Salford/BBC-MediaCity-UK-Salford/Disability-Focus-BBC-Salford/13662557/


International Day of People with Disabilities – Disability Focus, Tuesday 3 December (afternoon sessions)

ITV Gray’s Inn Road, London (13.30 arrival for 13.45-17.15)

  • Internal Engagement: Starting the conversation and understanding the barriers

Clare Sumner, BBC’s Directory of Policy, Allan MacKillop, BBC’s Disability Lead and Paul Wright, Senior Manager, Inclusion & Wellbeing for The Bank of England

  • Being Inclusive: The Little Things that make a Big Difference

Viacom Presents actress, presenter and disability activist Samantha Renke as she discusses her journey from teacher to actress and the small things along the way that made a huge difference in supporting her disability.

The talk will be followed up by a conversation between Samantha and Purple Space, the networking and professional development hub for employees with a disability.

  • Showcase: Best practice & Sharing Stories

Past and present trainees from Sky and Channel 4 talk about their successes working on programmes such as Riveria, the Paralympics and Delicious 

Tickets to attend live session in London, includes option of watching live stream of the Salford sessions in the morning: https://www.skiddle.com/whats-on/London/ITV/Disability-Focus-ITV-GIR-London/13662564/

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Image: BBC

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